Ever leave an interview with a huge smile on your face? You KNEW you rocked it and expected that offer within a week. However, when you received an email from the company, you were surprised to find yourself turned down for the job opportunity. The interview was flawless; what went wrong?
You Psyched Yourself Out
The worst interview I’ve ever had was one where I psyched myself out. I was so nervous that they wouldn’t think I was qualified because of my grade (even thought I knew had plenty of experience). I focused on all the things I lacked instead of what I had. I wanted to work for the company so bad, that I put a lot of pressure on myself to get the position. The night before my interview, I even called my dad at 3 a.m. freaking out that I wasn’t going to get the position.
And guess what? I didn’t get that position. When I asked for feedback, my interviewer mentioned how nervous she could tell I was and that she didn’t feel I was living up to the person in my cover letter in my interview.
In contrast, the best interview I’ve ever had was one where I entered in “knowing” I had the position. Did I have an actual guarantee to the job? No. But I told myself there was no way I wasn’t going to get this position. Because I believed I had this job, my confidence shown through in everything I did and said during the interview. I prepared for the interview, but I didn’t pressure myself into it. I already felt that I had the cat in the bag, and guess what? I got the position.
You Didn’t Embrace the Silence
You know that awkward moment when your interviewer asks a question and you answer immediately, without thinking, something barely related or that doesn’t completely answer the question? Yeah… it’s important to THINK about the WHOLE question before starting your answer. Embrace a few seconds of silence to gather your thoughts and formulate a well-organized response.
This is something that is really hard to do. When an interviewer asks a question, it can feel like you need to answer right away. But, from my recent experience on the other side of an interview for new members of a student organization, I learned that I didn’t expect immediate answers, and often when I got them, they weren’t necessarily complete. The best candidates I interviewed embraced a few seconds of silence and went on to give excellent answers.
You Didn’t Ask Questions
This can be a killer to your interview if you don’t have good questions to ask. I know this is something you’ve probably heard over and over, but that should just tell you how important it is.
I actually have an issue where I come up with many good questions before an interview, but by the time we get to me asking questions, they’ve either answered all of them or I can’t remember ANY. I somehow get caught off guard, even when I know it’s coming. A tip for fighting forgetfulness is to write down your questions before the interview and also as the interview goes on, when your interviewer is telling you about the company and position. This way, even if they answer all your questions, you can actively be coming up with more during the extent of the interview. I can’t wait to try this method at my next interview!
Correct these errors and your next interview should go swimmingly! In addition, if you don’t get a position you interviewed for, you should always ask for feedback from the interviewer. They won’t always get back to you, but if they do, their feedback on your specific performance interviewing is very valuable. You can see from an interviewer’s eyes EXACTLY what you did that needs improvement. Good luck and happy interviewing!